by Dan Mullins

A Fairy Tale at Allion Library

This spring, the students of Allion Elementary were invited to a magical assembly. Having no idea what was to transpire, some of them were a bit worried. The students were surprised to see the LCCHS Auditorium decorated with balloons and teddy bears. It was going to be a good day!

Principal Josie D’Adamo was front and centre to introduce the school’s librarian, Tiffany Clarke, AKA Miss Tiffany. Along with hundreds of very excited students were representatives of the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation, Darian Duhamel and Meghane Phillips, the school’s commissioner Lori Morrison, as well as the School Board Librarian Raphaella Dixon and Molly Richter, a librarian working in Educational Services.

Ms. Josie D'Adamo, Principal of Allion

Ms. D’Adamo really got the crowd going, asking the assembled students what was needed for a good party. When they called out “CAKE!” she responded, “We’ve got cake!” “Balloons!” someone shouted. “We’ve got balloons,” she answered, gesturing to the decorations. “PRESENTS!” yelled the children. “We’ve got presents!” cried Ms. D’Adamo. Having achieved what seemed to be the crowd’s maximum intensity, Ms. D’Adamo handed the microphone to Ms. Clarke.

In the cadence of a person well accustomed to reading to young people, Ms. Clarke told the assembled young readers a story entitled “Dreams Come True at Allion.”
Like many good stories, it began with “Once upon a time….”
“…there was a wonderful school library at Allion Elementary.” Ms. Clarke continued, “The Students at Allion LOVED coming to the library, listening to stories, borrowing books, and reading. Would you say that’s true?”
“YEAH!” yelled hundreds of voices.

Ms. Tiffany Clarke, Librarian at Allion

The story cast Ms. D’Adamo as a fairy godmother who brought more library days to Allion, but that meant they needed more books. So Ms. Clarke asked many people for help, and one day Ms. D’Adamo and Ms. Clarke heard back from the Indigo Love of Reading foundation. The students could barely contain themselves, and when Ms. D’Adamo and Ms. Clarke brought out a giant novelty cheque in the amount of $40,000, the roof almost lifted off of LCCHS.

The magic Ms. Clarke practices is called “Grant Writing,” and she practises it well. A dense, data-rich 12-page document had been sent in months previously. She expressed her gratitude to Ms. D’Adamo for being so supportive and forthcoming with the data needed to secure the funding.

From L to R: Molly Richter and Raphaella Dixon, Board Librarians; Meghane Phillips and Darian Duhamel of the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation; Ms. Clarke, Ms. D'Adamo, and Ms. Lori Morrison, Commissioner for Ward 1.

At the end of the assembly, around a dozen teddy bears wearing Indigo backpacks were thrown into the crowd, to lucky Allion students. Eight peanut-free sheet cakes decorated with students’ quotes about the library were cut and would be delivered to all the students in their classrooms. Many happy students and members of staff left the auditorium that day.
…and as far as anyone can tell, they all lived happily ever after.

You can watch Ms. Clarke’s reading of “Dreams Come True at Allion” here:

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